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Earrings

  • Place of origin:

    Russia (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1880 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt with coral and coloured glass beads

  • Museum number:

    541&A-1883

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 77, shelf B, box 13 []

Earrings were popular among all the Slav peoples. In Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries both men and women wore them, and some silversmiths worked exclusively as earring makers. By the 19th century they were only worn by women.

From the early 18th century the design of Russian earrings followed two paths. The Russian aristocracy increasingly wore earrings of international design, but the rural population kept to the old traditional patterns. These were made by local silversmiths, who rarely marked their work. As a result, it is very difficult to tell the difference between old earrings and traditional earrings in the old style.

These earrings may be 17th century, but it is more likely that they were made in traditional style in the 19th century. They were bought from the Russian Commissioner at the Fisheries Exhibition, London, 1883. They are very similar to earrings worn by southern Slavs in the Balkans.

Physical description

Pair of hoop earrings, with a faceted strip of metal along the front edge, and a long pendant hung by hinges from the base of the decorative strip. The pendant has three plaques hung vertically above each other, decorated with coral and coloured pastes, and surrounded and finished with short lengths of loop-in-loop wire ending in pendant metal and coral beads, and pierced lozenges.

Place of Origin

Russia (made)

Date

1800-1880 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt with coral and coloured glass beads

Dimensions

Length: 14.7 cm, Width: 2.5 cm, Depth: 2.3 cm

Descriptive line

Pair of long silver-gilt earrings decorated with coral and glass beads, Russia, 19th century.

Materials

Silver-gilt; Coral; Paste

Techniques

Piercing

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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